Jacqueline Woodson's expertly written memoir of a young African American girl's journey through a childhood in Ohio, South Carolina, and eventually Brooklyn during the Civil Right's movement should be in every 5th to 8th grade classroom, every school library, every "Must Read" shelf at the local library, every family bookshelf. Initially I was surprised by her choice to write Brown Girl Dreaming in free verse, but the quiet simplicity creates stark contrasts. Each verse explodes in turn with joy, heartbreak, circumspection, nostalgia. Even the briefest statement can have huge impact in this form. The entire book is amazing, but part of the beauty of Woodson's book is that individual chapters, verses, even lone sentences could easily fit alongside many Language Arts or American History curricula. In today's world of Common Core with snippets of a variety of texts, many teachers will rejoice to include Woodson's work among the required reading.